Probation – Violation of Probation Process

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Kern County Probation Officers play a huge role in California’s criminal justice system, especially related to juvenile cases.  They make recommendations to the Judge and District Attorney about how to handle cases, run juvenile detention facilities and supervise minors placed on probation.

The purpose of Juvenile Supervision is to assure juvenile probationers comply with orders of the Juvenile Court.  When a juvenile probationer fails to comply with their orders, a Violation of Probation (VOP)/Warrant process is triggered.  Kern County Probation identified this process as an outdated, time consuming and labor intensive process.  Under the previous process, it took approximately 29 hours to complete a VOP/Warrant for an average of 18 cases per week.  This amounted to 522 staff hours on a weekly basis.

As part of a Green Belt project through LaunchKern, Probation identified the previous process consisted 83 steps with close to 12 hours of “wait time.”  By finding solutions such as combing numerous forms into a single document, streamlining the proofing process and eliminating duplicate information, Probation improved the VOP/Warrant process cycle time by nearly 50%

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

This process improvement has had a positive impact in many operational areas of the Probation Department.  It has improved staff morale by eliminating unnecessary and frustrating “busy work”, provides a greater focus on Kern County youth to draw down on federally reimbursed activities, frees up more time that can be dedicated to working with youth to reduce recidivism, and improves overall public safety.

RESULTS

The amount of steps for a VOP/Warrant process was reduced from 83 to 47.  The number of hours it took to complete this process was reduced from 29 to 12, and the amount of actual work time was reduced from 18 hours to 10 hours.  This improvement equates to a savings of $226,662 in staff time.  Also, more savings will be realized as Probation Officers can commit more of their time to activities that are eligible for federal reimbursement.

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